Home / Forums / Staff / Archive / Wrestling / RSS / Contact
King Of The Cage 27: Aftermath review
by Scott Newman (MMA)
Posted on January 20, 2010, 8:00 AM

King Of The Cage 27: Aftermath

San Jacinto, California

-No idea on the hosts as usual as they just get right into the first fight. Well, it’s one commentator again. Later on the DVD we find out it’s Chris Cordero, KOTC matchmaker. Thomas ‘Wildman’ Denny joins him at some point too – they don’t outright identify him but Cordero calls him “Thomas” and mentions hair-dye, so I’m taking an educated guess.

Lightweight Fight: Frankie Bollinger vs Robert Breslin

Breslin’s a veteran of the old WEC, but I remember him from a couple of failed auditions for TUF as I’m sure he’s on the extras on one of the box sets. No clue on Bollinger.

Breslin comes out swinging, but Bollinger lifts him up and looks for a slam, but ends up sort of gently putting him down by the cage, passing to side mount in the process. Breslin tries some knees from the bottom and then uses a butterfly guard to push him off and stand. Bollinger grabs him again and gets a big slam to guard this time, where he begins to work with some solid ground-and-pound. Breslin kicks him off and lands an upkick, but Bollinger stands over him for a while before dropping back to side mount. He maintains the side mount and then drops some nasty knees to the body, before getting to full mount. Arm triangle follows and he really squeezes it and sticks his tongue out for good measure, but somehow Breslin slips free and escapes to his feet! Takedown attempt from Breslin now but Bollinger reverses and tries to drag him down. Breslin escapes again and tries a flying kick, but Bollinger grabs him for another slam to side mount. Armbar attempt from Bollinger and it looks deep, and despite Breslin desperately trying to defend, he can’t get out and that’s it.

Perfectly acceptable little fight there. Some good reversals from Breslin but largely he got tooled on the ground by the bigger, stronger man.

Middleweight Fight: Matt McPherson vs Orion Gallagher

Orion Gallagher? That’s a sort-of cool name that you can imagine WWE giving to some newcomer these days. Odd weight discrepancy here as the DVD has McPherson at 170lbs, Gallagher at 184lbs.

They come out and McPherson immediately drops and gets an ankle pick to guard. Quick guard pass puts him in side mount and Gallagher looks a little lost from his back. He does manage a hip escape to get to half-guard, but McPherson forces him into the cage and lands some shots, trapping the arm ala Cain Velasquez against Ben Rothwell to land clean, unanswered blows. Orion gives his back and McPherson slaps on a rear naked choke for the tapout.

Total squash in that one as Gallagher never stood a chance and literally had no offense whatsoever.

Heavyweight Fight: Andy Murad vs Saldana Clemente

Another odd weight then, with Murad a small HW at 224lbs, but Clemente only coming in at 194lbs which is way below the LHW limit. I guess it is KOTC though and they’re more lax with things like that, particularly on the shows taking place on Native American reservations like this one.

We begin and Clemente swings, but Murad gets a single leg to side mount. Clemente holds him in a guillotine, but obviously without the guard it’s no use and Murad works his head free. Full mount for Murad and he opens up with some flailing punches, before Clemente turns to his side. He looks stuck as Murad uses his hooks to flatten him out, and from there he pounds at the head until referee Herb Dean decides he’s seen enough.

That was almost identical to the last fight save for the position of the finish and this time it was punches instead of a choke to finish. Total squash.

Heavyweight Fight: Wes Combs vs Jonah Broad

Brawler Combs made it all the way to the UFC after an undefeated run in KOTC, but he got clowned by Wilson Gouveia and Mike Nickels and left soon after. Not heard of Broad, but given Combs’ reputation on this circuit I doubt this lasts long.

Broad goes for a single leg, but Combs counters by just swinging wild punches that stop the takedown, and from there he trips Broad down, gets full mount, and opens up with wild punches for the TKO.

Quick and easy win for Combs, but you can see why he didn’t make a dent in the UFC as his striking looked really sloppy even if it had some power, and you can’t just brawl in the UFC and expect to win fights, particularly against technical guys like Gouveia.

God-Only-Knows-What-Weight Fight: Shawn Ramage vs Kevin Alliva

Alliva is HUGE and is billed at 226lbs. Ramage meanwhile is 125lbs. I have no idea how this fight was ever allowed to take place – this is worse than even any of the freak show fights PRIDE or DREAM put on! Good lord.

We’re underway and Ramage throws a front kick, but Alleva answers with one of his own. Somehow Ramage gets a double leg and escapes a weak guillotine, then passes to side mount, where he forces Alleva to give his back, slaps both hooks in and sinks the rear naked choke for the tapout.

Erm, yeah. Let’s forget this ever happened, shall we?

Featherweight Fight: Dave Rivas vs Steve Hallock

Don’t know either of these guys from Adam I’m afraid, although Rivas has some losses to fighters I have heard of (Kultar Gill, Ross Ebanez, John Gunderson) on his record. Hallock’s nickname is THE WEASEL.

They exchange some strikes as the camera becomes difficult to follow as the show is taking place outdoors and the sun’s going down. Left hook from Rivas and he stuffs a takedown into the clinch. Rivas works some knees in the clinch before the ref separates them. Couple of leg kicks from the Weasel and he throws a flurry, but Rivas ducks under and gets a takedown to guard. Rivas lands some shots from the guard as Hallock looks a little stuck from his back. Rivas decides to stand over him and he invites the Weasel to join him, before landing a one-two and getting a trip takedown to half-guard. Hallock manages a hip escape to full guard but he takes a couple of strikes. Round ends in the guard.

Second round begins and Rivas refuses to touch gloves. Overhand left from the Weasel but Rivas gets underhooks and a trip to guard. If you look outside the cage at this point you can see Jeff ‘Sherdog’ Sherwood watching. Stand-up from ref Cecil Peoples and Rivas swings a left and the Weasel ends up pulling guard. They come back up immediately though and Rivas throws punches into the clinch. Attempted takedown from Weasel but he botches it and gives his back, and now Rivas is working for the choke with both hooks in. He doesn’t look quite steady though, hanging off the side, and Hallock manages to turn but ends up fully mounted. Rivas moves to side mount and drops shoulder strikes ala Dan Henderson. Stand-up follows which is bad given Rivas had a dominant position. We restart and Weasel wades into an uppercut, but gets the clinch and desperately looks for the takedown. Rivas avoids and then Hallock swings into the clinch again. Rivas breaks with some punches and then gets another double leg, pinned against the fence, but Rivas stands over him and kicks at the legs instead. Peoples calls Hallock to his feet and he comes in swinging, but Rivas grabs him and forces him into the fence, before Peoples calls a quick break. Round ends just there.

Rivas gets the decision in what was a largely dull, if unoffensive match.

Welterweight Fight: Manny Gamburyan vs Jorge Santiago

Pretty crazy to see these guys fighting one another back here at 170lbs, as they’ve both gone on to a good degree of success, with Santiago ranked in many people’s top ten at 185lbs and Gamburyan ranked in the top ten at 145lbs now. Today you’d think it was insane to see them against one another due to the size difference – Santiago has put on a ton of muscle since his days at WW and he’s a big MW now. This was early in both men’s careers.

We begin and Santiago stuffs an early takedown attempt. Leg kick from Manny and he gets an ankle pick, but Santiago manages to escape to his feet instantly. Santiago swings some punches, but Gamburyan counters with a WILD RIGHT HOOK that knocks the ATT fighter silly! WOW.

Holy crap. I never figured Manny had that sort of knockout power, but to be fair, he is a strong dude and Santiago’s chin isn’t the best, so hey. Insane stuff and to see it today given Santiago’s recent hot streak is pretty wild.

Heavyweight Fight: Keigo Kunihara vs Timothy Mendoza

Kunihara made one appearance in the UFC in 2005, losing by rear naked choke to Pe De Pano in the BJJ expert’s MMA debut. Never heard of Mendoza but he does not look to be in the best shape. From what I know, Keigo is a pretty solid judo player.

Mendoza looks for a pair of crude takedowns, just leaning forward, so Keigo just has enough of that and dumps him on his head with a sweet judo toss. Those throws are always cool. Wild punches and hammer fists follow as Mendoza tries to roll, but Kunihara’s controlling him nicely. Mendoza is basically trapped by Keigo’s underhook here, and Kunihara continues to slug away until the ref decides to call it off.

Impressive stuff from Kunihara to throw a big guy like that, but on the ground Mendoza looked totally lost and got clowned in quick fashion.

Lightweight Fight: Antonio McKee vs Marcus Aurelio

Despite an excellent record – 23-3-2 at the time of writing this review – McKee has the unfortunate reputation as being one of the most boring fighters ever to compete in MMA. And in my personal experience it’s not an undeserved reputation like say, Josh Koscheck or Ricardo Arona who have been involved in some great fights – McKee is a pure lay-and-pray artist. Here, he was coming off a rare loss at the hands of Karo Parisyan. Future PRIDE and UFC fighter Aurelio meanwhile was just 5-0 at this stage, and the fights that made his name (a tournament win in Japan’s ZST promotion) were yet to come.

First round begins and McKee lands a glancing side kick. Aurelio paws with a jab as McKee stalks forward, and then Aurelio shoots and pulls guard as McKee stuffs it. McKee pins him into the cage as the announcers tell us McKee will be content to sit in the guard punching for half an hour. Ugh. Aurelio’s actually landing more punches from the bottom. Herb Dean stands them up and Aurelio stuns him with a high kick and tries to defend the takedown, but it’s to no avail as McKee finishes a double leg and pins him into the fence. McKee picks him up and delivers a slam, and then it’s back to classic lay-and-pray. Crowd begin to boo wildly before Herb calls the stand-up. Low kick from Aurelio and now he shoots for a takedown, but McKee stuffs it and uses a whizzer to escape. Aurelio goes for it again, but McKee’s wrestling base looks too good for that and he forces his way into top position. Ten seconds to go and it’s more lay-and-pray. Round ends there.

2nd round and Aurelio throws a couple of strikes, but finds himself taken down into the guard once again. Aw man, this sucks. McKee lands a couple of shots at most, but mostly he’s just holding Marcus down. McKee decides to stand, surprisingly, and allows Aurelio up, and from there Marcus gets a takedown and almost gets the back! He ends up a little too high though and McKee shakes him off and ends up on top in guard. Aurelio rolls for an armbar now and it looks like he might have it. Announcers are openly rooting for Aurelio as he’s trying to do something at least. McKee escapes, however, back into the guard for more lay-and-pray special. Referee stands them but McKee looks hurt and it appears he might’ve dislocated his shoulder. Don’t want to see that, regardless of how bad a fighter he is. McKee decides to pop it back in (!) and continues fighting, getting a swift takedown. Aurelio tries to reverse position but McKee stands. Takedown attempt from Aurelio and he spins onto McKee’s back as they scramble, and this time it looks like he has the hooks in. Aurelio works for the choke but he looks too high again and McKee shakes him off into the guard. More lay-and-pray follows until Herb Dean stands them again. McKee shoots but Aurelio sprawls out and spins to the back, but winds up on his back once again. Fight ends there.

Judges score it for Antonio McKee in a classic bogus decision. He had takedowns but did zip with them while Aurelio pushed the action, went for submissions, took his back, and landed the only significant strike with the high kick. Fight wasn’t horrible due to the offensive portions from Aurelio but if I never have to watch McKee again I’d be a happy man.

Heavyweight Fight: Jerry Vrbanovic vs Baki

Oddly enough the DVD is billing Baki as ‘Paki’, which is CRAZY offensive over here in the UK. Vrbanovic was the guy who put on the stinker with Dan Severn on the last KOTC show I reviewed, so I’m really hoping this is a little better.

Baki swings some haymakers early, and they trade blows like two drunks outside a nightclub. Baki seems to have CLUBBING POWER and Jerry looks rocked, so he shoves Baki into the fence and leans on him. They break off as I suddenly realize there’s now a different announcer and it’s not Thomas Denny. The other guy is Dean Lister for those who care. Baki swings some more bombs, but Jerry rocks him with a big knee. Baki smiles at him, and continues to swing bombs, but when he looks for a takedown Jerry stuffs it and then he lands a pair of BIG KNEES and a right hand to drop him for the stoppage.

Jerry said going into the Severn fight that his knees were “atomic” and they did look that way here, which shows what lower levels of opposition can do. This was still a horribly sloppy fight, however.

Lightweight Fight: Joe Stevenson vs Kiko Cassela

As far as I’m aware this would’ve been Joe Daddy’s first fight back at 155lbs following a run at 170lbs for a long time in KOTC. He’s got his hair bleached blond here like he did on his TUF stint. Opponent Kiko, I believe, is a top-class BJJ practitioner, but he hasn’t really had much experience in the world of MMA.

We begin and they circle around with Stevenson looking to work a jab to keep Kiko at distance. Takedown from Kiko and he goes right into side mount, but Joe quickly hip escapes to half-guard. Stevenson ties him up and doesn’t really look to be in trouble, and the ref brings them back to their feet. Takedown attempt from Kiko follows, but this time Joe stuffs it and lands with a right hand on the way up that stuns the BJJ fighter. He goes for a single leg again, but Joe stuffs it once more and lands some right hands en route to gaining top position. Joe decides to stand and waves Kiko up, and he wobbles him with a jab. Kiko begins to swing some wild punches, but his stand-up looks crude and Stevenson avoids the brunt of them. Joe begins to taunt him now, dropping his hands and pointing at his chin as the punches don’t seem to be doing any damage. Another beautiful sprawl follows and Joe stands out of the way of the guard. Couple of jabs from Joe and then he avoids another takedown. Again Joe Daddy taunts him, sticking his chin right out with his hands behind his back, before landing a double jab. Another double jab snaps Kiko’s head back. Joe stuffs another takedown with ease and he lands another jab and an overhand right that drops Kiko to his back. Stevenson wants him back up and then he drops him with another left hand. Kiko comes back up, but he looks exhausted and Stevenson drops him with a right and then rains down some punches before calling Kiko back up. Kiko is pretty much done I think. Joe wades in with a right-left combo that drops him again, and although Kiko manages to roll to his back, he looks hurt and Joe wants him up again. This time though his corner’s seen enough and throws in the towel.

Really entertaining fight thanks to Joe Daddy’s antics. Outside of Kiko’s one takedown, Joe fought the smart fight as he refused to go to the ground with the BJJ expert and just lit him up standing with the jab, then started opening up with power shots as his taunting caused Kiko to swing wildly and tire out. Really clever gameplan. Bit one-sided but as far as shutouts go, this was one of the better ones I’ve seen.

KOTC Heavyweight Title: Bobby Hoffman vs Paul Buentello

I believe Hoffman’s KOTC Heavyweight Title – which he won at KOTC 21 in a tournament – was on the line here. For those who didn’t know, he won that title following a stint in jail that kept him away from the sport for just over a year. Buentello had last knocked out Mike Kyle at KOTC 18 and on paper I guess this was a pretty close fight. Hoffman looks to be in incredible shape for a HW here while Buentello is his usual slightly flabby self.

Hoffman quickly swings some punches to close the distance, forcing Buentello into the cage. Nice single leg takedown follows to half-guard and he has Buentello stuck against the fence. Some short elbows drop down and then he begins to land with good punches. Buentello tries to kick him away, to no avail as Hoffman remains on top in the half-guard. Some of these punches look brutally hard. Buentelllo manages to get to full guard to lock him up a little, but Hoffman stacks up above him and almost takes the back. Paul does well to escape to his feet though, but he’s still stuck against the fence and eats a left hook. Buentello breaks off, but Hoffman comes in with some WILD punches, almost straight-arm hooks that do land. Hoffman clinches again for another takedown but this time Paul defends it and lands with a pair of hard uppercuts. Knees from Hoffman inside the clinch but Buentello uses the uppercut to slow him up. Hoffman drops for another takedown and drives for the single, and manages to get Paul down despite a real effort to stuff it. This time Buentello lands in full guard. Hoffman continues to work him over with ground-and-pound, and then passes into half-guard. Elbows from Hoffman and he passes to side mount, but Buentello escapes to his feet. Hoffman looks for a knee from the clinch, but Buentello breaks and LANDS HEAVY with the uppercut! Hoffman looks rocked a little but comes swinging back with punches of his own before clinching again. Pair of uppercuts that don’t land cleanly end the round for Buentello. Very good round.

Second round and Buentello lands with a pair of HARD right hands that rock Hoffman’s world. He goes for a takedown but Buentello stuffs it and they trade into the clinch where Hoffman ties him up. They muscle for position inside the clinch before Buentello goes to the body, and Hoffman appears to be breathing heavily. Hoffman answers back with a knee as this is turning into a real clinch war. Big uppercut from Buentello rocks Hoffman who answers with a crazy right hook into a backfist that doesn’t land cleanly. They continue to exchange in the clinch before Buentello breaks and stuns him with another two uppercuts. A third one misses but he’s tagging Hoffman whose punches aren’t landing because they’re too wild. They clinch up again and this must be horribly gruelling. Buentello is really working the body over with some vicious hooks. Referee Herb Dean separates them and Buentello comes in with a pair of huge right uppercuts that wobble the champion again. He grabs a clinch but Buentello’s controlling that position now too and he has Hoffman forced into the cage, where he lands more shots. Herb Dean calls another break and now Hoffman swings wildly, but eats an uppercut again en route to the clinch. Hoffman with a left and a right inside the clinch that looks to have Buentello stunned, and now they TRADE WILD PUNCHES with reckless abandon! Both guys look exhausted now, just leaning on one another in the clinch. Dean breaks them again and Buentello has his hands on his knees, but still comes wading in with more punches. Hoffman’s face is covered in blood. Round ends there. This is a great fight and I’d have it one round apiece.

Third and final round and Hoffman quickly closes the distance and looks for the takedown. He gets Paul down with a double leg to guard and begins to slug away with heavy punches again, on a second wind as he doesn’t seem to be nearly as fatigued as he was in the second round. Hoffman stacks up to deliver some more shots, but Buentello does a good defensive job from the guard. Good guard pass puts Hoffman in side mount, and he looks for a straight armbar, but Paul manages to fight free and gets into top position in Hoffman’s guard. Crowd are way into this now. Action slows down in Hoffman’s guard and Dean stands them back up. Buentello looks like the fresher man and he swings the uppercut into another clinch, and Hoffman opens up with a couple of good shots before clinching up again. They continue to exchange in the clinch, before Dean breaks them once more. Buentello leaps forward with a knee as Hoffman looks gassed, but it allows Hoffman to grab another clinch. Surprising takedown from Buentello into Hoffman’s guard and this is going to be a close fight to call. Herb stands them back up and they trade wild shots with Buentello landing the better ones into a final clinch.

We’re going to the judges, where Hoffman picks up the split decision to retain his title. Honestly that could easily have gone the other way, and the crowd actually boo. I think Hoffman definitely took the first round, Buentello the second, and the third was anyone’s really. Still, regardless of the result, for a KOTC Heavyweight fight that was outstanding, and in fact it wouldn’t look out of place on a UFC undercard today I wouldn’t say. Certainly beat well, 99% of the fights on TUF 10, for instance. Strong main event to end the show.

-And we roll the credits.

Final Thoughts....

This was a pretty damn good show for KOTC. Sure, the undercard is filled with your customary one-sided squashes, but none outside of Vrbanovic-Baki were horribly sloppy like on a couple of the other shows, and the only dull fights were Rivas-Hallock and McKee-Aurelio. The top of the card was really good here, with Stevenson’s fight with Kiko being a wildly entertaining squash, Manny getting a highlight reel knockout on a tough guy in Santiago, and the icing on the cake being Buentello-Hoffman which is on the same level as a decent midcard UFC fight. Thumbs up for this one.

Best Fight: Hoffman-Buentello
Worst Fight: Rivas-Hallock

Overall Rating: ***1/2

Coming Soon....

UFC: 103-107, Fight Night 20
WEC: 45 and 46
Bitetti Combat 4
King of the Cage: Various shows

Until next time,

Scott Newman:

All material copyright 2006 its respective owners.
Site scripted and designed by Mike Maloney.